(NECN: Eileen Curran: Boston) - Hundreds of volunteers are taking part in a moving tribute in Boston, ahead of Memorial Day weekend.
Thousands of flags at the Boston Common are honoring those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
It's a daunting task - inserting an American flag - 33,000 times, under a broiling sun.
For the third year, the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund is taking on the challenge of the massive tribute on Boston Common.
There is one flag for each fallen military member - with ties to the Bay State - from every war since the Civil War.
The tribue grows each year.
"We started with 30 of us, it took nine of ten hours to plant 20,000 flags last year it went a lot quicker because we had a lot more volunteers."
There are now more than 200 volunteers - some who signed up, and many more who just joined in.
Tom Chrohan, Vice President of the fund, works for John Hancock. He brought 50 employee volunteers to work in the shadow of their company's landmark building.
His hope: "For people to walk by just take a moment to pause and reflect and understand sacrifcie so many have made on behalf of us our democcracy is the demonstration it is because of these individuals and their families they left behind," Chrohan said.
The tribute already speaks volumes to these student volunteers from Pope John Paul II School in Boston, who were amazed to see just how many Americans have died in war.
"I knew it was a lot but not this many," Johanna Thermitus said.
It is certainly a striking and moving tribute, and a reminder of what the holiday is really about.
"Hope that folks remeber Memorial Day isn't just about Cape traffic and cookouts, but it's about the sacrifices that so many folks and their families have made to our country," President Steve Kerrigan said.
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